Sunderland Making Their Mark On Africa

Sunderland Making Their Mark On Africa

Written By Stanley Kwenda | At BBCSport

If ambition had a league table, English Premier League club Sunderland would top it.

In stature and global reach Sunderland are considered one of the league’s smaller clubs but an appetite for global reach is helping them transform their standing in Africa, where they are establishing a business footprint.

On the field of play Sunderland have not been producing encouraging results. They have slowly fallen into the relegation zone, a situation which led to the club sacking manager Guy Poyet recently.

However, off the field the club’s fortunes have been flourishing. Club officials say things have been falling into place since 2012 when they had their first business contact with Africa. This was through an oil mining company which sponsored the club’s official kit.

Sunderland, nicknamed the Black Cats, became famous among African fans for its “Invest in Africa” football shirts which helped to announce its arrival on the African continent.

Now they are looking to join the elite league of popular English Premier league clubs in Africa.

“Our ambition is to be an established club. Everyone follows Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea but after those clubs comes the rest of us. What we want is to be that next club,” said Gary Hutchinson, Sunderland’s commercial director.

The club has taken a deliberate strategy to market itself on the continent through business and community links.

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